Homemade Caramel Apple Pie

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There are so many things to love about the Thanksgiving feast. And this pie is one certainly worthy of so much adoration.

After a feast of Thanksgiving turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and homemade dinner rolls, you’ll need a dessert that really entices guests to go back for more. You can rest assured that this classic pie will do just that. And it can be made in advance and served at room temperature or even chilled!

A slice of caramel apple pie on a white dessert plate topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

How To Make Caramel Apple Pie

We love this pie for so many reasons. It captures all the autumnal flavors that we enjoy so much.

And, it’s perfect for the holidays because it can be made in advance. It’s wonderful served slightly warmed, but also is incredible when served chilled.

 

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The Ingredients You Will Need

There are really three main components to this pie: The crust, the filling, and the crumble topping.

Of course, you can purchase pie dough from your local market, but homemade is so good and is snap when you utilize your food processor.

For the pie crust, here’s what you’ll need:

Flour – All-purpose
Salt – Kosher is good
Butter – Cold and cubed
Shortening (or lard) – Cold and cubed
Water – Ice cold

For the apple and caramel filling, here’s what you’ll need:

Apples – Granny Smith and Gala are excellent choices
Sugar – Granulated
Flour – All-purpose
Warming spices – Ground cinnamon and nutmeg
Water – For making the caramel
Butter – Unsalted
Cream – Heavy (or whipping) is best
Salt – Kosher

For the crumble topping, here’s what you’ll need:

Oats – Old-fashioned
Flour – All-purpose
Brown sugar – Light or dark, either works perfectly
Cinnamon – Ground
Salt – Kosher, just a pinch
Butter – Unsalted and cubed

EXPERT TIP: The caramel makes enough to add a healthy layer on top of the apples in the pie, but also allows you to leave some for heating and drizzling over a slice of pie (with ice cream, of course).

Caramel sauce being poured over a pie dish filled with sliced apples in a pie dough with crimped edges.

Tips For Making Perfect Caramel Apple Pie

Pile the Apples High – When you transfer the prepared sliced apples into the dish lined with the pie dough, it may feel like they are piled too high. As they cook and then cool off, the apples will reduce in size and you’ll have a nicely shaped pie.

Don’t Over-Stir the Caramel – Once the water and sugar come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and stop stirring the mixture. Every now and then, carefully pick the pan up and swirl the mixture. After about 15 minutes, the mixture will turn amber. Turn off the heat and carefully stir in the butter and cream. It will foam almost violently. It’s good to stir at this point. It will cool down and become perfect caramel.

Allow the Pie to Cool Completely – You will be tempted to cut into the pie soon after it comes out of the oven (as we did in the video). You can do this, but be warned that the pie filling will not hold its shape and will spread all over the plate. We recommend letting the pie cool and then rest in the fridge for several hours. The pie is actually delicious and completely holds its shape when sliced and served chilled.

EXPERT TIP: Use a pair of forks to cut the butter into the topping ingredients. Or, you can use your fingers. This will help the butter to melt evenly and create a crunchy, strudel-like topping.

A hand sprinkling an oats, spice, and butter crumble over the top of an unbaked caramel apple pie.

How To Serve

As mentioned, for the best presentation, it’s best to let the pie completely cool and then chill in the fridge. You will get slices that are firm and perfectly cut. And the taste is great when chilled or at room temperature.

Of course, we all love warm pie, too. If desired, microwave individual slices on HIGH for about 30 seconds. This will warm the slice and it will stay intact.

EXPERT TIP: To really put it over the top, re-heat the cooled caramel in the microwave until just smooth enough to pour. And, a scoop of vanilla ice cream is a must.

An overhead view of an unsliced caramel apple pie surrounded by whole apples and cinnamon sticks.

Other Amazing Autumn Dessert Recipes to Try

There is just something special about fall baking, and these recipes are some of our all-time favorites:

Sweet Potato Pie
Classic Pumpkin Pie
Classic Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Sweet Potato Bundt Cake
Cream Cheese Apple Bars with Pecan Streusel
Homemade Apple Pie
Cherry Pie
Southern Chess Pie

In the meantime, doesn’t this pie look absolutely wonderful? It is!

An apple pie with caramel in a white pie dish with a large piece missing.

Folks, if you’re looking for a classic pie with a slight twist, you can’t go wrong with this one.

It’s perfect for the holidays or just a sweet treat on a chilly day.

Serve it warm, at room temperature, or chilled. This pie is one that always gets rave reviews and your loved ones will thank you for it!

A slice of caramel apple with topped with a scoop of ice cream with a bite taken out of it.
Ready to make the best holiday pie in town? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFedaLoon!

A slice of caramel apple pie on a white dessert plate topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Homemade Caramel Apple Pie

Caramel Apple Pie has that classic apple pie taste, but better. The homemade caramel puts it over the top. You'll use a little more than half of the caramel, leaving you extra to re-heat and drizzle over slices of this amazing pie. Make the day ahead of serving to allow you more time to focus on the big feast!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fall baking recipe, how to make caramel apple pie, Thanksgiving dessert
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Chill time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 644kcal

Equipment

  • 1 9-inch pie dish

Ingredients

  • 1 pie dough for a 9-inch pie dish
  • 2 lbs Granny smith apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 lb Gala apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • cups sugar divided
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt

For the Topping

  • 4 tbsp old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar light or dark
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter cubed

Instructions

  • Place the apples in a large bowl and mix together with ½ cup sugar. Transfer to a colander over a large bowl (or in the sink) and let rest for 30 minutes.
    2 lbs Granny smith apples, 1 lb Gala apples, 2¾ cups sugar
  • Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, mix together ¼ cup sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
    ⅓ cup all-purpose flour, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, bring 2 cups of sugar and ½ cup of water to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and stop stirring the mixture. Every couple of minutes, gently lift the pan and swirl the mixture. It should be bubbling fairly strongly. Continue this process until it has turned amber in color, usually about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and carefully stir in the butter, heavy cream, and salt. Stir and then let rest for 15 minutes.
    ½ cup water, ¼ cup unsalted butter, ½ cup heavy cream, ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • Place the prepared apples in a large bowl and stir in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Stir until fully coated.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a pie dish and press the bottom and sides into the dish. If desired, trim and then crimp the edges (see video for visual guidance).
    1 pie dough
  • Transfer all of the apples to the pie dish with the dough. There should be enough apples to form a dome. Pour about ⅔ of the caramel over the top of the apples, saving the rest for future drizzling.
  • In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a fork (or two) to work the butter into the mixture. Sprinkle the topping all over the top of the pie.
    4 tbsp old-fashioned oats, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 3 tbsp brown sugar, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp Kosher salt, 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Bake the pie for 90 minutes. You may need to cover the edges with foil or a pie crust protector if getting too dark (usually after about 1 hour).
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.
  • To serve, slice cooled pie and, if desired, heat the remaining caramel in your microwave on HIGH until pourable. Drizzle warm caramel over the top of the pie slices.

Notes

See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. 
We recommend granny smith apples and gala apples, but you could also use all granny smith or all gala. Other good baking apples are: Fuji, Honeycrisp, Cortland, and Red Delicious. 
Be sure to let the pie completely cool before slicing in order to be able to cut nice clean slices.  If you want to serve warm, then heat individual slices in the microwave on HIGH for about 15 to 20 seconds. 
The pie will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 or 6 days. It will keep out on the counter (covered) for 2 days. The pie can be frozen for up to 2 months. Allow it to thaw before baking. 

Nutrition

Calories: 644kcal | Carbohydrates: 115g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 315mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 91g | Vitamin A: 620IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
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2 Comments

  • 5 stars
    Everything about this pie was absolutely delicious! I love your easy recipe for the crust and the caramel was fabulous. I’m not one to change a good recipe, so my only addition was a couple of tablespoons of King Arthur boiled cider to amp up the apple flavor. No worries about it “keeping.” It was gone within a day, and my granddaughter has now requested that I make this for her birthday instead of a birthday cake. Thanks for such a great recipe!!

    • Hi Maggie! We are so so happy you made the caramel apple pie and had such great success with it! And the boiled cider sounds wonderful! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the wonderful review! That means the world to us! Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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